Unleashing the power of cloud-based technology in the gig economy
The gig economy represents a labor market that relies on temporary and part-time positions filled by independent contractors and freelancers, rather than the full-time, permanent employee model. It has emerged as a powerhouse, with gig workers contributing an estimated £20 billion to the UK economy, which is predicted to hit £63.25 billion by 2026.
In the face of escalating living costs, gig workers are facing increased vulnerabilities in their pursuit of financial stability. A striking revelation from a study conducted by the University of Bristol reveals that a staggering 52 percent of UK gig economy workers earn below the minimum wage.
To flourish within this challenging environment, gig workers must harness the capabilities of cloud-based technology, seamlessly integrating it into their toolkit to maximize productivity and effectiveness. But how can cloud-based technology elevate the efficiency and success of gig economy workers?
Navigating the Gig Economy
The gig economy offers flexibility and independence, but it also comes with its fair share of challenges. Gig and self-employed workers often face instability in income, limited access to traditional employee benefits, and the responsibility of managing their business independently.
Financial management is one of the biggest challenges for gig workers. With irregular income streams, tracking earnings, expenses and taxes can be daunting. However, cloud-based accounting software has become a lifeline for gig workers. These tools allow them to automate financial tasks, easily generate invoices, and keep tabs on their financial health. This not only saves time but also ensures accurate financial records.
Cloud-based communication systems are a game-changer for the gig economy, providing seamless connectivity and collaboration tools that empower freelancers and remote workers. These platforms enable instant communication, file sharing, and project management from anywhere, fostering productivity and flexibility in the gig workforce.
With the ability to stay connected, gig workers can serve clients and collaborate with teams across the globe, irrespective of their physical location, enhancing their overall efficiency and marketability.
SMEs' Best-Kept Secret: Cloud-based 'Essentials' for Gig Workers
As freelancers venture into the gig economy, they often find themselves juggling multiple roles, from CEO to marketing manager to accountant. To succeed, they need a reliable toolkit of cloud-based essentials:
- Cloud-Based Productivity Suites -- Platforms like Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace offer a suite of essential tools, including email, document editing, and cloud storage. Gig workers can manage their professional communication, collaborate on documents, and store important files securely in the cloud.
- Website Builders -- Establishing an online presence is crucial for gig workers. Website builders like WordPress and Wix provide user-friendly templates and hosting solutions, enabling them to create and maintain professional websites without technical expertise.
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Systems -- CRM systems like HubSpot or Salesforce help gig workers manage client relationships, track leads, and automate marketing efforts. These cloud-based tools enable gig workers to provide personalised services and nurture customer loyalty.
- Cloud-Based Phone Systems -- A cloud-based phone system offers gig workers the advantage of maintaining a professional communication setup without requiring dedicated hardware or complicated installations. For gig workers frequently on the move, establishing a local or national presence becomes crucial.
The Freelancer's Advantage: Benefits of a Reliable and Professional Tech Stack
Freelancers, by nature, thrive on their ability to provide specialized skills and services. A reliable and professional tech stack enhances their competitive edge and offers several benefits:
- Credibility -- A professional online presence, complete with a polished website and branded email addresses, lends credibility to freelancers. Clients are more likely to trust and hire freelancers who appear established and trustworthy.
- Efficiency -- Freelancers can streamline their workflows and meet deadlines more effectively with cloud-based project management tools. These tools help freelancers prioritise tasks, track project progress, and communicate with clients efficiently.
- Scalability -- Cloud-based solutions, including communication systems, can easily scale to accommodate freelancers' growing client bases. Whether it's expanding storage space, adding team members, or automating processes, freelancers can adapt their tech stack to match their business growth.
- Mobility -- Freelancers often enjoy the freedom to work from anywhere. Cloud-based communication systems enable them to access their work tools and data from any device with an internet connection, facilitating a truly mobile work lifestyle.
The Future of the Gig Economy
Cloud-based technology is revolutionizing the gig economy and has emerged as a powerful ally that provides the tools needed for financial stability, remote collaboration, and enhanced professionalism.
Cloud-based solutions offer a versatile toolkit for gig workers. With the right tech stack, they can enhance their credibility, streamline operations, and adapt to the ever-changing demands of the gig economy.
As cloud-based technology continues to evolve, it will play an even more pivotal role in shaping the future of work for these dynamic and resilient individuals.
Damian Hanson is Co-Founder & Director of CircleLoop, a cloud-based business phone system making waves in the telecoms sector by offering SMEs a more modern, flexible approach to telephony. CircleLoop is now servicing roughly 4,000 SME customers within the UK and has positioned itself as a 'Digital-led Challenger' telco.